Facebook Verifies 'Likes', Cuts Those of Spammers

Dennis Faas's picture

If you're not convinced that every Facebook fan page really earned all of its "Likes," you are not alone. That's why Facebook's management team has decided to weed out and remove any fake "Likes" that can be identified.

For years Facebook has offered users the ability to indicate they "Like" individual pages and posts. Facebook members can "Like" their favorite celebrity, their favorite band, their friends' vacation photos, and even a witty status update.

The problem is, "Likes" became a form of currency for Facebook spammers. To artificially spike interest in certain pages -- particularly those dedicated to consumer products -- spammers and marketers use fake Facebook accounts to "Like" their own items. (Source: zdnet.com)

These fake "Likes" significantly affected Facebook's integrity, and made its "Like" feature less authentic and valuable.

Facebook Now to Delete Fake "Likes"

That's why Facebook, which now serves 955 million users, will soon investigate all of its "Likes." It will attempt to identify which ones were posted by legitimate users for legitimate reasons, and which ones appear to be the work of spammers.

In a recent blog post, Facebook announced that "Newly improved automated efforts will remove those Likes gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk Likes.

"While we have always had dedicated protections against each of these threats on Facebook, these improved systems have been specifically configured to identify and take action against suspicious Likes." (Source: reuters.com)

Facebook's Integrity Important to Advertising Revenue

While the campaign may not sound like a big deal, Facebook's effort to identify fake "Likes" is important for the social networking site, which depends on advertising for survival.

If advertisers see the site as a dumping ground for spammers, they will likely take their business elsewhere.

"Facebook is playing the Federal Reserve, to take the counterfeit currency off the market to ensure that there's quality in the marketplace," said Altimer Group researcher, Jeremiah Owyang. (Source: reuters.com)

Facebook is also no doubt hoping that its efforts to legitimize its "Likes" will help save its spiraling stock value, which has dipped by more than 50 per cent since its initial public offering earlier this year.

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